When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics? I started gymnastics when I was 6 years old. My Aunt taught me to do cartwheels, and the cartwheels turned into me doing flips off the couches. My mom was concerned that I was going to be seriously hurt,so she put me in gymnastic classes.
Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes? When I was 7 years old, I was a little intimidated by one of my coaches because she was tough and expected a lot from her gymnasts. She went on vacation and expected all of us to have a round off backhand spring when she got back. Long story short, when she returned, none of us had learned it. I don’t know why, but she asked me if I had one, and I was too scared to tell her I didn’t, so I said yes. I remember my teammates looking at me like, you do? Then my coach threw a curve ball at me and asked me to show her, and I went for it. It was so bad, but I learned not to be afraid to try new skills.
When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete at a high level? What about competition appeals to you? I’m not sure of the exact moment, I decided I wanted to compete; but I had taken a break from gymnastics for a bit and realized I really missed it, so my mom signed me back up for classes. After that, I knew that I wanted to continue for a long time. By just seeing the big skill sets of the older girls, I became driven to do the same one day. The thing I love most about competing is the feeling of exhilaration I have the moment I stand ready to go on my first event. I also love showing all the skills I have been working on for months.
What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics? Up until level 10/Elite, I trained training 20 hours a week. Now I train between 28 to 30 hours a week, so there was a big switch in my hours.
What is your favorite event? Vault and Floor
What is your favorite skill? It’s really hard to choose because I love all my skills.
What music do you use for your floor routine? I would call it an upbeat tango, but I had it specially made, so I don’t know the name.
Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”? I really like Laurie Hernandez & Simone Biles.
How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally? Being in this sport for 10 years, has taught me so much about how the brain works. I have become so much stronger in my mental game when I prepare for competitions. As far as skills, I would say that I have always had fun flipping and I will always try new skills just because it is so fun. I want to see how many skills I can get before I finish college.
How has gymnastics helped you as a person? Gymnastic has taught me so many lessons, and I know that I will retain them after I’m done competing. It has taught me how to be a strong young woman and how to handle real-life issues as they come up.
If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be? The most important thing that gymnastics has taught me is perseverance. I will never give up on my dreams, because they are worth fighting for.
What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career? Making it to my first Nastia Cup in 2015, being awarded as 2015’s Texas JO gymnast of the year, winning my first P&G championship title on vault in the Jr. division in 2016, and getting my verbal commitment to my dream school UCLA.
What grade are you in school? 10th Grade
Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics? Absolutely!
What are your favorite subjects, etc.? Science is my favorite subject
If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there? Television and film.
What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing? In everything I do I want to be an influence and inspire other tall gymnasts to do gymnastics as well. When I’m done competing I want to get back into acting and start my own production company.
When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? I’m actually really boring when I’m not doing gym. Usually, I’m doing school and then go on YouTube or watch Netflix.
What is your favorite food? Seafood
What is your favorite movie? Jumanji
What is your favorite book? A Girl Named Disaster
What is your favorite music group? My favorite genres are Pop and Christian
Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports? I have an Uncle who plays in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms? I pray before every meet and in everything I do, I give thanks to God.
What’s on your IPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up? I have some Christian jams and everyday music you hear on the radio. I don’t really listen to music before a meet, instead I do visuals of all my routines up until I compete.
If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they? Determined, competitive and Powerful
1. Name, Age, Hometown
Chae Campbell, 13 , Carrollton, Texas
2. Do you have a nickname?
From time to time, I’ll be called Chae-Chae.
3. In what cities do you train and go to school?
I actually train in Allen, Texas. I am homeschooled so I do that in Allen in the gym.
4. When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
When I was really little, we had this really small place. I was in the mood for flipping and stuff, and my aunt taught me how to do cartwheels. I started doing them inside the house and my mom was afraid I was going to hurt myself, so she enrolled me in gymnastics classes so I would have room to flip. I just loved it from then on
5. When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete on the elite level? What about competition appeals to you?
I have always been a really competitive girl. I was flipping for fun at first. But, when I moved, I couldn’t go to this place called “Little Gym” anymore. So, my uncle told my mom that there was another gym, Empire Gymnastics, down the street from where we moved. So, I tried it out and they had a competitive team. I joined that and loved it even more. With competition, it’s the feeling of me showing off my skills that I love.
6. What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
The intensity level is pretty high when we get to competition season so that we’re ready. I train about 30 hours a week total. This is my first year doing 30 hours a week. I used to be in “one a days.”
7. What is your favorite event?
My favorite event is vault.
Is there a reason for that?
It’s just my specialty so I enjoy doing it more
8. What is your favorite skill?
I actually have a couple. On vault, I do a Yurchenko double-full. And on floor, I do a full-in.
9. What music do you use for your floor routine?
It’s a tango-style song.
10. Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
Definitely Gabby Douglas. I feel I can relate to her background and how she got started in gymnastics.
11. How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill wise and mentally?
When I first started in gymnastics, I would get so frustrated in not being able to learn a skill that it would really get me down. But I’ve learned over the years to just keep trying and stay positive
12. How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
It has helped me by making me more disciplined in everything I do.
13. If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
I would say I’ve learned perseverance through gymnastics.
14. What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
So far, winning Level 9 State last year is my biggest accomplishment. I got a career high 38.9 so that was exciting.
15. What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
I’m currently in 7th grade (homeschooled).
16. Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
I would like to, but my goal right now is to do Elite.
17. What are your favorite subjects, etc.?
I love science.
18. If you plan to go to college, do you know what you want to study there?
I would like to study to be a doctor.
19. What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
I would really like to train for Elite in May of this year. That’s my main focus right now.
20. When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities?
I like to hang out with friends. I like to go to church. I like to swim when it’s hot.
21. What is your favorite food?
I love seafood.
22. What is your favorite movie?
I would say “Night at the Museum.”
23. What is your favorite book?
“A Girl Named Disaster” by Nancy Farmer
24. What is your favorite music group?
I would say Toby Mac.
25. Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
My uncle Calais (Campbell) is a football player for the Arizona Cardinals
26. Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
Every time before I compete, my mother and grandma pray for me and everyone in the meet.
27. What’s on your IPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up?
I like to listen to Christian music. It gets me in God’s place so that I’m ready to compete.
28. If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
Determination, focused, and competitive
29. What 3 words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
Friendly, compassionate, and focused
I would like to add that I would love to go the Olympics someday and last year, I was undefeated on vault the whole season.